NFL OPENING NIGHT TV RATINGS DOWN; TUNE-IN RADIO HAS RECORD NUMBER OF LISTENERS STREAMING AUDIO
TV networks saw a 12% YOY increase in viewership during the first 3 weeks of the preseason, suggesting that regular season numbers would pick up from a disappointing 2016 season. But last Thursday night’s season opener between the Patriots and Chiefs drew a 14.6 rating, down from 16.5 last year; making it the least watched opener since 2009.
TuneIn has partnered with the NFL to provide fans worldwide with the home and away, national and Spanish radio broadcasts of all 32 NFL teams. JWS wanted to find out how if radio saw a similar uptick in preseason listeners and how the opener rated. TuneIn VP of Marketing, Scott Parker, provided some insight:
Scott Parker: “Year over year, our number of preseason listeners grew by 70%. This is indicative of all of the ways people are consuming NFL content, especially with the growing usage of streaming audio, in the preseason. We actually had success in a unique Preseason stunt featuring a joint Audiocast with the Patriots and Texans. We do see a correlation between Preseason and Regular season and saw record numbers for the season opener.”
Howie Long-Short: TuneIn isn’t public, but the company is backed by Comcast Ventures. CMCSA co-led a $50 million round in April 2017 to fund the buildout of TuneIn’s Premium Subscription service offerings.
Fan Marino: A recent ESPN (DIS) poll indicated that 68% of avid NFL fans live outside their favorite team’s home market. I’m not sure how ESPN defined avid, but that can’t be accurate. Americans live a median distance of 18 miles from where they grew up.